Yes, that is a true statement- your illness/disability can have a positive effect on other people. You are NOT a burden. Your illness or disability can be beneficial for those around you.
What a beautiful way for loved ones to learn about compassion, empathy, generosity, strength, determination, motivation, love, selflessness, awareness, to not be judgemental, perseverance, community, drive, ambition, fairness, equality, overcoming challenges, and gratitude, just to name a few.
As spoonie warriors, most of us practice the above qualities every single day, and the people around us see that. Sure, we all have that person who doesn’t understand your illness and is judgemental, or doesn’t believe you… but for right now, for this post, this is not about them. This is about everyone else, everyone who sees how much strength you have, the determination and motivation you use every single day to wake up, get up and tackle the day. They know how much perseverance you have, the grit you possess to overcome constant challenges, to overcome judgement, the love you have for those around you, the gratitude you have for the sweet, good moments, because sometimes they can be far and few between.
Those around you see people like you who are fighting the fight too, and they have compassion for them, kindness, and they don’t judge them. They validate their struggles, because they know what it takes to be out in the world, they watch you do it all the time.
You are not a burden. You are teaching those around you valuable lessons about being a wonderful human. You are teaching them to be open and spread love to humanity. You are teaching them so much.
This topic was inspired by my 12yr old son. I have battled “mom guilt” and I’m sure you can imagine how much that was increased by being a “chronically ill mom.” I have worried about ‘ruining’ his life by my illness, I’ve worried about taking away from him, disappointing him, you name it, I probably worried about it. But all of those concerns couldn’t be farther from the truth, farther from reality.
My son is one of the most thoughtful, compassionate people I know. He has no judgement, he sees people who are different and he embraces it. He sees people who have illnesses or disabilities as stronger people than most of humanity. He recognizes their determination and perseverance, he wants to do what he can for them to know that he sees them for who they are, not what they may look like or what they might be capable of.
When I worry about him seeing me as ill or sad or something, when I’m having a bad day… he tells me I’m the happiest most optimistic person he knows. He tells me that I need to take care of myself because I’m always taking care of everyone else. He tells me I am going to change the world and change lives.
He makes me feel like my illness has shaped who we both are… in the most wonderful and positive ways.
The same goes for you and your loved ones. Whether they realize it consciously or not… you are positively impacting their lives.
Sending love to all of you out there today. We are all warriors!